fbpx

Ross Levinsohn, L.A. Times CEO-publisher, called LGBTQ people ‘fags,’ report says

Numerous Los Angeles Times staffers have been publicly voicing their disapproval on social media of Ross Levinsohn, the newspaper’s CEO and publisher, following a comprehensive and scathing National Public Radio report about questionable behavior toward women, two sexual harassment lawsuits, and calling people in the LGBTQ community “fags.” Photo: Wikipedia.

LOS ANGELES — Numerous Los Angeles Times staffers have been publicly voicing their disapproval on social media of Ross Levinsohn, the newspaper’s CEO and publisher, following a comprehensive and scathing National Public Radio report about questionable behavior toward women, two sexual harassment lawsuits, and calling people in the LGBTQ community “fags.”

ON UNPAID LEAVE

The Times’ parent company, Tronc, announced Friday that Levinsohn was on unpaid leave, CNN reported. On Thursday, Tronc said it had opened an investigation into the allegations, then on Friday, more than 180 newsroom employees requested that he be removed, CNN reported.

Levinsohn hasn’t made any public comments on the NPR report.

The NPR story, which was broadcast and posted online Thursday, is based on a review of court documents, financial filings, and interviews with 26 former colleagues of Levinsohn and his associates. “Taken in concert, they suggest a pattern of questionable behavior and questionable decisions on the job. The portrait that repeatedly emerges is one of a frat-boy executive, catapulting ever higher, even as he creates corporate climates that alienated some of the people who worked for and with him,” NPR said.

‘IT’S HOMOPHOBIC’

One Times journalist who expressed frustration at the Levinsohn allegations is Anthony Pesce.

As a gay journalist, I’m sad and frustrated that my publisher would refer to members of the LGBTQ community as “fags.” It’s homophobic,” Pesce Tweeted Thursday. “It has had no place in polite discourse for many decades. This is not OK.”

Pesce then made a series of Tweets explaining the words “fag” and “faggot.”

FASHION LUNCHEON

While an executive overseeing the Hollywood Reporter in 2013, Levinsohn told a colleague he wasn’t staying at the publication’s lunch honoring the entertainment industry’s most influential fashion stylists, “Why would I hang out with a bunch of ladies and fags?” NPR reported.

The unnamed executive notified the magazine’s human resources department about the incident, NPR said.

The Times newsroom guild said Tronc and its board should be held accountable for not properly vetting Levinsohn, the Times reported.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share this post with your friends!